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Home  >  Topics  >  Investigations

April 12, 2002
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Boy Caught Smuggling Heroin in NYC

By DONNA DE LA CRUZ, Associated Press

NEW YORK - A 12-year-old boy from Nigeria swallowed 87 condoms filled with heroin, flew to New York and became sick before meeting whoever had promised him $1,900 to act as a contraband courier, authorities said.

The boy's father is imprisoned in the United States for recruiting drug mules to smuggle heroin into Georgia.

The boy, identified as Prince Nnaedozie Umegbolu, was listed in stable condition at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens. Officials said 85 of the 87 condoms had left his system as of Thursday evening.

The boy has been charged with juvenile delinquency drug possession of a controlled dangerous substance, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs area airports. His case will be handled in family court.

Airport detectives said it is not uncommon to find adults acting as drug mules, but it is rare for a child.

The boy arrived alone at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday on a British Airways flight from London, Coleman said. He hailed a cab and went to a Brooklyn address, but no one was there, Coleman said. He then went to LaGuardia Airport before becoming ill.

Authorities did not know for whom Umegbolu was carrying the heroin.

Umegbolu, an American citizen, had been living with his grandparents for the past two years in Abuja, Nigeria, Coleman said. His mother, Alissa Walden, lives in Norcross, Ga. There was no telephone listing for her, and she could not immediately be contacted for comment.

The boy's father, Chukwunwieke Umegbolu, is imprisoned in Petersburg, Va., according to court records. The elder Umegbolu was convicted in 1995 for his role in a drug ring that imported at least $33 million in heroin into Georgia over a decade.






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